Rookie wide receivers Deonte Thompson and Tommy Streeter are trying to climb the depth chart during this week’s mandatory minicamp. They have often been shouldered out of the spotlight this spring by other youngsters like Torrey Smith and LaQuan Williams, but they took center stage late in Wednesday’s practice.
Thompson, a speedster out of Florida who had some bright moments during the voluntary organized team activities, caught a pair of long touchdown passes in 11-on-11 drills. He beat veteran Corey Graham deep for one and later blazed by Chykie Brown, temporarily silencing the second-year cornerback with another score.
I’m not sure who is the fastest player on the Ravens roster but Thompson would likely be in the conversation.
Streeter showed off his wheels when he got behind rookie cornerback Asa Jackson, but a perfectly-placed pass from quarterback Curtis Painter clanked off of his hands. The sixth-round pick bounced back quickly, though, with a few spectacular grabs, including one when he brought down a jump ball in the back corner of the end zone.
He celebrated by punting the football about 20 yards straight up into the sky, which probably didn’t endear him to some coaches and veterans, but who knows -- pun alert -- maybe punter Sam Koch got a kick out if it.
Streeter won’t be able to make the team as a backup punter, but if he can show signs this summer that he has the hands and leaping ability to be a target for fades in the end zone -- a dimension that could help the Ravens score more touchdowns in the red zone -- it certainly won’t hurt his chances of making the squad.
“Those two guys have made big strides,” Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said after Wednesday’s workout.
Not to be outdone were Smith and Williams, who also snagged long touchdown passes. Williams caught one in especially acrobatic fashion and then nearly crashed into a camera crane behind one of the practice fields.
We’ve got a long way to go before we start trying to break down which five or six wide receivers will survive the summer. But at the very least, Thompson and Streeter reminded everybody that they are in camp, too.
“Those two guys, especially today, had some real [good] plays when we were down there in the team period,” Harbaugh said. “They have gotten better. We have probably gotten more work with the rookies this year than any year since I have been here. … We’ve gotten a lot of reps with them the way the rules are set up, and we have a good number of [wide receivers] here, so we can get a lot done.”